SoxProspects News

June 30, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Pitcher of the Week, June 22-28: Casey Kelly


Salem righty Casey Kelly only made one start last week, but he made it count, hurling seven innings of one hit, shutout ball at Kinston (Indians) June 27, striking out 4 and walking none, en route to winning SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week honors for June 22-28. This is Kelly's third Pitcher of the Week win in 2009, with all of them coming in the month of June. In six starts with Salem since being promoted, Kelly is 1-2 with a 2.02 ERA, allowing 8 earned runs on 21 hits over 35.2 innings pitched, holding opposing batters to an .165 average. He is currently the second ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
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at 11:58 PM

Player of the Week, June 22-28: Derrik Gibson


Lowell's Derrik Gibson continued his charge out of the gate in the New York-Penn League posting a .455/.556/.727 line in the first full week of the season, with 4 doubles and 1 triple over 27 plate appearances (10 hits, 5 walks), scoring 4 runs and batting in 2, earning SoxProspects.com Player of the Week honors for June 22-28. In 10 games played on the young season, Gibson is hitting .471/.600/.735 with 5 doubles, 2 triples and 5 RBI. Gibson, 19, a second round pick in 2008, is currently the thirty-sixth ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
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at 4:01 PM

Bailey back to Boston as Lowell hits DL


After starting just 2 of the last 9 games for the Red Sox, third baseman Mike Lowell was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained right hip, the same hip on which he had surgery following the 2008 playoffs. He will be replaced on the Boston roster by Jeff Bailey, who will be in tonight's starting lineup against Baltimore, hitting ninth and playing first base. For Bailey, who has hit .259/.373/.424 for Triple-A Pawtucket this season and an impressive .316/.447/.526 over his last 10 games, this will be his third major league stint of 2009. In 23 games and 69 at-bats over his first two stays with Boston, Bailey put together .188/.309/.391 numbers with 3 home runs and 9 RBI.
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at 5:52 AM

PawSox edge Syracuse in 14 inning marathon


6/30 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket edged Syracuse 6-5 in 14 innings on Monday. Michael Bowden went 4.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 8 hits. He walked 3. Jose Vaquedano threw 1.2 innings giving up a run on a hit and a walk. He fanned 1. Javier Lopez pitched a scoreless inning allowing 1 hit. He had a strikeout. Marcus McBeth tossed a scoreless 1.2 frames. He allowed a hit and a walk. He struck out 2. Fernando Cabrera pitched a scoreless, hitless inning. He gave up a walk. Hunter Jones pitched 2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and 2 walks. He had a strikeout. Billy Traber pitched the final 2 innings and did not allow a run, a hit or a walk. He struck out 2. Freddy Guzman went 2 for 6 and scored 2 runs. Travis Denker went 2 for 6 with a RBI. Gil Velazquez went 2 for 5 with a run scored.

Portland downed New Hampshire 8-5 in a rain shortened completion of the previous night's suspended game. The game was called after 8 innings due to rain. Felix Doubront threw 1 inning on the previous day and did not allow a run or a hit. He walked 2 and had a strikeout. Jarrod Plummer threw 5.2 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. He fanned 5. Chad Rhoades pitched 1.1 scoreless, hitless frames. He struck out 1. Josh Reddick went 2 for 4. Jorge Jimenez went 3 for 4 and scored 3 runs. Jon Still went 2 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBI. Ryan Kalish went 4 for 5 with a run scored and 3 RBI. Lars Anderson had a home run in 3 at bats. The regularly scheduled game was postponed due to the weather.

Salem defeated Lynchburg 6-2. Kyle Weiland pitched 5.2 scoreless frames giving up 4 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 7. Ryne Miller tossed 2.1 frames allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. Derrick Loop pitched a scoreless inning giving up 1 hit. He had a strikeout. Che-Hsuan Lin went 2 for 5 with a home run. Tim Federowicz went 3 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. He is hitting .476 since his promotion. Yamaico Navarro went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Luis Exposito went 3 for 4 with a RBI. Kris Negron went 3 for 4 and scored 2 runs.

Lowell blanked Oneonta 5-0. Yeiper Castillo threw 6 scoreless innings allowing 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 4. William Latimer tossed a scoreless frame giving up 2 hits. He fanned 1. Tommy Hottovy threw a scoreless frame allowing a hit and a walk. He struck out 1. Pedro Perez tossed a clean 9th inning and struck out 1. Derrick Gibson went 3 for 3 with a run scored and 2 RBI. Shannon Wilkerson went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Sean Killeen went 2 for 5 and scored 2 runs.

Greenville was not scheduled to play on Monday and the Gulf Coast League game between the Red Sox and the Reds was cancelled due to rain.

Player of the Night: Ryan Kalish who went 4 for 5 with a run scored and 3 RBI



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June 29, 2009 at 6:18 AM

Sox affiliates winless on Sunday


6/29 Cup of Coffee: On Sunday, Syracuse defeated Pawtucket 6-2. Charlie Zink went 6 innings giving up 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Rocky Cherry threw 2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit. He fanned 2. Randor Bierd went 0.1 of an inning giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk. Billy Traber retired the 2 hitters he faced. Freddy Guzman went 3 for 5 with a RBI. Jeff Natale went 2 for 5 with a RBI. Dusty Brown went 3 for 4 and scored a run.

The Portland-New Hampshire game was suspended due to rain after the first inning with the Sea Dogs holding a 2-0 lead. The game will resume tonight as part of a doubleheader.

Lynchburg defeated Salem 4-2. Byran Price tossed 7 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 5. Kyle Fernandes threw 2 innings giving up a run on 4 hits and a walk. He had 2 strikeouts. Anthony Rizzo went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Tim Federowicz went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Luis Segovia went 2 for 3.

Asheville edged Greenville 5-4. Stephen Fife pitched 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk. He fanned 4. Michael Lee went 2.1 frames giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 base on balls. Zach Gentile went 2 for 5 and scored 2 runs. Ryan Lavarnway went 2 for 4. Mitch Dening went 2 for 4 with a RBI.

Oneonta downed Lowell 9-3. Alex Wilson threw 2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit. He did not give up a walk while striking out 2. Jeremy Kehrt threw 3.2 innings giving up 6 runs on 7 hits and a walk. He struck out 3. Dennis Neuman went 1.1 innings allowing 2 runs on a hit and a walk. Kyle Rutter pitched an inning giving up a run on a hit. He fanned 1. Derrik Gibson went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and a RBI.

Player of the Night: Dusty Brown who had 3 hits and scored a run
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June 28, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Mark Wagner promoted to Pawtucket


Catcher Mark Wagner has been promoted to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox and will join the team on Sunday, Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram has reported. After a down year in 2008, Wagner has enjoyed great success at the plate this season, hitting .301 with 18 doubles, 3 home runs, and 28 walks, posting a .410 on-base percentage and .477 slugging percentage. Wagner is also considered to have good defensive skills behind the plate, with the potential to be an excellent defensive catcher in the Majors.

The counter-move to Wagner's promotion is the demotion of John Otness from Pawtucket to Portland. Otness will split time behind the plate with Juan Apodaca, much as the two did when Wagner missed two weeks due to injury in late April/early May.
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at 6:52 AM

Kelly allows just 1 hit over 7 innings


6/28 Cup of Coffee: On Saturday, Pawtucket edged Syracuse 3-2. Clay Buchholz pitched 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 6. Marcus McBeth threw 2 perfect innings of relief. He had 2 strikeouts. Hunter Jones pitched a perfect 9th recording a strikeout. Freddy Guzman went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. Jeff Bailey went 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI. Dusty Brown and Angel Chavez each went 2 for 4.

Portland downed New Hampshire 3-1. Adam Mills went 7 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits and a walk. He fanned 4. Dustin Richardson pitched 2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4. Argenis Diaz went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Josh Reddick went 1 for 4 with a home run.

Salem defeated Kinston 3-2 in 14 innings. Casey Kelly threw 7 shutout innings allowing just 1 hit. He did not give up a walk while striking out 4. Robert Coello pitched 0.2 of an inning giving up a run on 2 hits and 2 walks. Jason Rice threw 1.1 frames giving up a run on 2 walks. He fanned 2. Jose Capellan pitched 4 scoreless innings allowing a hit and a walk. He had 2 strikeouts. Josh Papelbon threw a scoreless inning allowing a hit. He fanned 1. Che-Hsuan Lin went 4 for 5 and scored a run. Tim Federowicz went 2 for 7 with a RBI. Anthony Rizzo went 2 for 6 with a run scored. Luis Exposito went 2 for 6.

Asheville downed Greenville 5-3. Brock Huntzinger went 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. He had 4 strikeouts. Leandro Marin pitched an inning and gave up a run on 2 hits and 2 walks. He fanned 1. Armando Zerpa pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings. He walked 2 and had 2 strikeouts. Zach Gentile went 3 for 5. Jared Stanley went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Mitch Dening went 3 for 5 with a RBI. Oscar Tejeda went 2 for 4 with a RBI.

Lowell downed Tri-City 4-1. Ryan Pressly went 5 innings allowing a run on 3 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 2. Chad Povich tossed 2 scoreless, hitless innings allowing 2 walks. He fanned 3. Jeremiah Bayer threw 2 scoreless, hitless innings and had 3 strikeouts. The offense managed 6 hits with 1 of them being a home run by Chris McGuiness who went 1 for 4.

In Rookie ball, the Orioles defeated the Red Sox 8-3. Randy Consuegra went 2.2 innings giving up 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks. He had 4 strikeouts. Jason Blackey pitched 1.1 scoreless, hitless frames. He gave up a walk and had 3 strikeouts. Hunter Cervenka tossed 2 perfect innings of relief. Richard Wasielewski tossed 1.2 frames and gave up 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. Dustin Mercadante went 0.1 of an inning and did not allow a run. He gave up 2 hits. Michael Lennox pitched the final inning giving up a run on 2 hits. He struck out 1. Eddie Lora went 2 for 3 with a home run and he scored 2 runs.

Player of the Night: Casey Kelly who tossed 7 scoreless 1 hit innings without giving up a walk. He had 4 strikeouts.
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June 27, 2009 at 6:13 AM

Clay tosses 5.2 scoreless innings in Drive win


6/27 Cup of Coffee: On Friday, Norfolk defeated Pawtucket 4-1. Kris Johnson went 5.2 innings allowing 3 runs on 10 hits. He struck out 3. Jose Vaquedano threw 1.2 frames giving up a run on 2 hits. Javier Lopez retired the final 2 batters but gave up a hit. Freddy Guzman went 2 for 5. Jeff Bailey went 2 for 3. Carlos Maldonado went 2 for 4.

Portland edged New Hampshire 5-4 in 12 innings. Ryne Lawson went 2 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. Andrew Dobies threw 3 scoreless, hitless innings. He gave up a walk whike fanning 2. Chris Province pitched 3 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. Bryce Cox tossed 2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 2. TJ Large threw 2 scoreless, hitless innings. He allowed a walk and had a strikeout. Ryan Khoury went 2 for 3. Jorge Jimenez went 2 for 6 with 2 RBI. Reid Engel went 2 for 3 with a home run.

Salem blanked Kinston 7-0. Seth Garrison pitched 6 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits and a walk. He fanned 2. Ryne Miller tossed 2 scoreless frames giving up 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4. Josh Papelbon pitched a scoreless 9th allowing a hit. He had a strikeout. Jason Place went 3 for 5 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Tim Federowicz in his first game in Advanced A went 3 for 5 with a run scored and 2 RBI. Zach Borowiak went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI.

Greenville blanked Asheville 3-0. Nick Hagadone started and went 2.1 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits and a walk. He fanned 2. Caleb Clay pitched 5.2 scoreless frames allowing 2 hits. He did not walk a hitter while striking out 3. Mitch Herold pitched the final inning and did not allow a run or a hit. He walked 2. Ryan Dent went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Ryan Lavarnway went 2 for 5 with a run scored and 2 RBI. Kade Keowen went 2 for 4.

Tri-City edged Lowell 6-5. Cesar Cabral went 4.1 innings giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. Anatanaer Batista pitched 1.2 scoreless, hitless frames. He allowed a walk and had a strikeout. William Latimer threw 2 innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 2. Derrik Gibson went 2 for 4 and scored a run.

The Gulf Coast League game between the Red Sox and the Twins was cancelled due to rain.

Player of the Night: Caleb Clay who threw 5.2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits. He did not walk a hitter while fanning 3.
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June 26, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Q&A with Ryan Pressly


The Red Sox selected right-handed pitcher Ryan Pressly in the eleventh round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of Marcus High School in Texas. Signing shortly after the draft, Pressly missed the entire 2007 season before making his debut in 2008 for the GCL Red Sox. In 10 games pitched, he compiled a 1-4 record with a 3.79 ERA in 40 1/3 innings. He battled a bout of shoulder tendonitis in spring training this year and was kept in extended spring training before being assigned to the Short Season A-ball Lowell Spinners. Jonathan Singer of SoxProspects.com had a chance to sit down with Ryan at a recent Spinners game.

Jonathan Singer: After being drafted in the eleventh round in 2007 and signing in mid-June 2007, was there a particular reason that you did not make your pro debut that year?
Ryan Pressly: During my senior year of high school baseball, I had an injury in which I tore my left ACL. I really didn’t do the proper rehab and I had to have another surgery. The second surgery was just a scope of the knee, and that is what kept me out that first season.

JS: What aspects of your game did the Red Sox have you work on from the time you signed until you debuted for the GCL Red Sox in 2008?
RP: The Red Sox really wanted to work on my control on the mound. That was first and foremost the important goal. They also wanted me to just build up my whole body because I was pretty skinny in high school - I was 155 pounds when I was drafted and now I am up to 185 pounds.

JS: Apart from the statistics, how would you say your debut went last season while pitching in the GCL?
RP: It wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad. I really didn’t have a lot of expectations going in, I just went out there and threw. The biggest thing that I need to do is limiting my walks because that is what killed me last year in the GCL. The Red Sox have stressed the importance of control on the mound, which will go a long way to limiting my walks.

JS: What's the biggest difference between facing premier high school competition in Texas vs. working through a GCL lineup?
RP: It’s pretty close in comparison. There is a lot talent that comes through Texas and it is like that in the GCL as well. Basically, no matter the talent level, you have to be able to compete at this stage, and that is something that I look to do each time that I'm out on that mound.

JS: You were invited to the Fall Instructional League this past offseason. Can you tell us a little about that experience?
RP: It was a good experience for me. I got to see and play with a lot of the top prospects in the organization. I got to pitch against guys like Casey Kelly and Mitch Dening, and if you make a mistake to them, they will capitalize on it. They know how to hit, and you just got to learn how to pitch and that’s the way it is. The Red Sox worked on my changeup and fastball command. They’re not too worried about my curveball right now.

JS: What are some of the goals that you have set for yourself coming into this season?
RP: Definitely to get out of Lowell, and I mean that in a good way. I already accomplished one goal when I got out of Fort Myers after almost 2 years. Right now I am here and I am just going to pitch my innings in order to get to the next level.

JS: Can you describe your repertoire on the mound?
RP: I throw a two-seam fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. I set up hitters with a fastball outside followed by a changeup outside, and then I try to run a curveball inside but sometimes that doesn’t always work the way you plan it. Basically, I just got to keep mixing my pitches up and keep batters guessing. Right now the curveball and the changeup are my best pitches. Surprisingly enough, I just need to work on my fastball command - I have to learn to command it to both sides of the plate.

JS: Which coach in the Sox system has influenced you the most? Which player has impressed you the most?
RP: For a coach I have to say [Latin Pitching Cordinator] Goose Gregson has really jumped my butt a couple of times, as he sees a lot of potential in me. For a player it’s definitely Casey Kelly. He’s 19 and already up in High-A ball. He’s been dealing pretty good.
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at 5:40 AM

Negron scores 4 runs in Salem win


6/26 Cup of Coffee: On Thursday, Pawtucket defeated Norfolk 7-4. Enrique Gonzalez went 5 innings giving up 4 runs on 10 hits and a walk. He struck out 4. Billy Traber threw 2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits. He fanned 1. Randor Bierd pitched a clean inning with a strikeout. Fernando Cabrera also pitched a perfect inning to close the game. Jeff Natale went 2 for 5 and scored a run. Chris Carter went 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Aaron Bates went 3 for 4 with a run scored.

Connecticut downed Portland 7-2. Kason Gabbard went 4 innings giving up 7 runs on 8 hits and 6 walks. Blake Maxwell threw 4 scoreless frames allowing 3 hits. He had a strikeout. Ryan Khoury went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Jorge Jimenez went 3 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI.

Salem trounced Kinston 12-0. Eammon Portice threw 6 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 6. Kyle Fernandes tossed 2 scoreless, hitless innings. He allowed a base on balls. Jason Rice threw a clean inning with a strikeout. Che-Hsuan Lin went 2 for 5 with a run scored and 3 RBI. Jason Place went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Mike Jones went 2 for 3 with a run scored and 2 RBI. Yamaico Navarro went 2 for 6 with 2 RBI. Kris Negron went 3 for 5 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBI.

Asheville edged Greenville 5-4. Stolmy Pimentel threw 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. He had 3 strikeouts. Felix Ventura went 2.1 frames allowing 2 runs on 3 hits. He fanned 3. Lance McClain retired the final 2 hitters while allowing 2 hits. He had a strikeout. Kade Keowen went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Oscar Tejeda went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored and a RBI. David Marks went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI.

Tri-City edged Lowell 2-1 in 10 innings. Jose Alvarez pitched 6 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits. He had 6 strikeouts. Tommy Hottovy threw 2 scoreless innings allowing a hit. He fanned 2. Pedro Perez went 1.1 frames and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits. He struck out 1. Derrik Gibson went 3 for 4. Ryan Westmoreland went 2 for 4 with a RBI. Sean Killeen went 2 for 3 and scored a run.

The Gulf Coast Rays blanked the Red Sox 2-0. Manuel Rivera threw 4 scoreless innings allowing a hit and a walk. He struck out 3. Kyle Stroup went 1.1 frames giving up a run on 2 hits and 2 walks. Justin Erasmus threw 2.2 innings giving up a run on 2 hits and a walk. He had 3 strikeouts. Bryan Peterson went 2 for 4. Jose Garcia went 2 for 3.

Player of the Night: Kris Negron who went 3 for 5 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBI
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June 25, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Brown returned to Pawtucket as Smoltz returns to major leagues


As expected, with the return of John Smoltz to the major leagues comes the end of Dusty Brown's first stint with Boston. Brown, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket when Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the disabled list on June 21, appeared in 1 game for Boston as a defensive replacement and caught 1.0 inning. The 27-year-old righthanded batter had been hitting .239/.347/.331 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI in 163 at-bats for Pawtucket at the time of his major league summons. A thirty-fifth-round draft choice by Boston in 2000, Brown owns career .260/.343/.390 numbers with 40 home runs and 287 RBI in 2039 minor league at-bats spanning 9 seasons.
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at 2:57 PM

Kelly and Tazawa selected for Futures Game


It's been a banner year so far in 2009 for two Red Sox pitching prospects, and now they've earned some official recognition for their efforts. The Red Sox today announced that righthanded pitchers Casey Kelly and Junichi Tazawa have been selected to participate in the eleventh annual Futures Game. The Futures Game, which pits the best minor leaguers across all levels from the United States against their counterparts from the rest of the world, is set to take place on Sunday, July 12 in St. Louis before the MLB All-Star Game.

Kelly was a first-round selection by the Red Sox in the 2008 draft and is the fourth ranked prospect in the organization according to SoxProspects.com. He has gone a combined 7-3 with a 1.64 ERA so far this season for Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem. In 77.0 innings spanning 14 starts, the 19-year-old Kelly has struck out 63 and walked only 12, limiting opposing hitters to a .186 batting average. Tazawa, who was signed as an international free agent in December, has been equally impressive for Double-A Portland, going 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA in his first 14 starts. He has also thrown 77.0 innings so far this season and has struck out 71 and walked 25 in that span, yielding a .225 batting average against.
Kelly and Tazawa will endeavor to replicate the Futures Game success had by Che-Hsuan Lin, who captured MVP honors at last year's game by going 2 for 2 with a home run.

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at 2:09 PM

The Ladder- 6.25.09


Che-Hsuan Lin

The Line: After starting out on the season 8 for 59 with 19 strikeouts and only 5 walks, Lin has turned things around at the plate, posting a .276/.385/.387 line since his extremely slow start. Lin’s been able to work counts much better since April and has turned his trends around, walking 29 times and only striking out 21 times during the months of May and June. He’s been especially hot over his last 10 games, going 12 for 37 with 2 home runs, 11 runs scored, and 6 stolen bases in the stretch. Lin turned in his finest performance of the season on June 19 against Potomac, reaching base 6 times via 3 hits and 3 walks while belting 2 home runs and driving in 4 runs in the game. After posting a .378 OPS in the month of April, Lin has pushed his season mark up to .674 with his 2 month turnaround, while his 14 stolen bases and 34 walks on the season rank him within the Top 10 in the Carolina League.

The View: Lin was all out of whack to begin the season, and some of his struggles can be attributed to the fact that he was coming back from injury in April. The key to his turnaround has been his improvement in his patience and increase in contact rates along with an improvement in his balance at the plate. Lin hits with a timing step at the plate, and a lot of his balance issues come from this portion of his load getting too big or causing him to lunge at balls. Despite having some experience playing International baseball, Lin’s pitch recognition was on the raw side when he arrived in the United States, and he struggled with chasing breaking balls out of the strike zone early in his career. With increased experience, he’s improved on this aspect of his game and the moving trends of his strikeouts to walks are a key indication of the positive development he has made. Lin has always been defensively polished and gets excellent reads on balls, highlighted by his elite range and plus plus arm in centerfield. One scout who recently saw Lin came away extremely impressed with his arm and said it was not only the best outfield arm within the Red Sox system, but also one of the best arms he has seen in the minors to date. The key going forward for Lin will be to continue to keep himself together mechanically at the plate, as his batting eye will allow him to continue to drive balls like he has for the last 2 months. An improving hitter, he’s made some nice strides this season despite a difficult April and has started to show flashes of his potential as a major league top-of-the-order hitter.

Stolmy Pimentel

The Line: Pimentel has put together a solid first half in his first season of full-season baseball, logging 58 1/3 innings while giving up 68 hits and striking out 50 against 15 walks. The number of hits against him in the early going was a bit concerning, but that has trended down each month, with his batting average against dropping from .338 in April to .227 in June. His strikeouts have also been on the rise. Pimentel has demonstrated good control the entire season and has generally been around the strike zone in all of his outings. He has been especially strong in his last 4 outings, firing 21 1/3 innings while allowing 3 earned runs on 17 hits and striking out 24 batters against only 5 free passes. He posted his strikeout high in an outing on June 12 against Asheville with 7 and followed that up 5 days later against the same lineup with 6 strikeouts over 5 innings of work.

The View: Pimentel has flown under the radar this season, which is a testament to the strength of the Red Sox organization’s young arms. After more than holding his own in the NYPL last season, he’s picked up where he left off and has been strong as a 19 year old in the SAL. Pimentel’s strengths are his above-average change-up and 12/6 curveball. Both of these pitches generate a lot of swings and misses while fooling batters and keeping them off-balance. The deception that he creates with his change-up makes it very tough on hitters and the sharp, improving break of his curve cause batters to go fishing outside of the zone. His low 90’s fastball is behind these pitches, though, but the key to his success this season has been the improvement in his command of this pitch. Pimentel can’t afford to live up in the zone with his fastball right now, and the majority of the hard contact against him occurs when this pitch grabs the fat part of the plate. As the season has progressed, he’s been able to keep this pitch down, and the drop in the number of hits against him (along with having only given up 1 home run on the season) demonstrates how he’s been moving his fastball around the strike zone. As he fills out, some believe that he’ll add velocity to his fastball given his arm speed and arm action, so this bears watching as his career progresses. Pimentel will look to keep things going as the second half of the season begins and if the trends of the month of June continue, followers can expect him to push his development to the next step.

Trending Up

Will Middlebrooks has found his stride in June, posting a .946 OPS so far this month. After struggling with strikeouts to start the season, he has been cutting down on them and producing a lot more solid contact. The biggest need for Middlebrooks has been to improve his raw pitch recognition and patience at the plate. These look to be taking a step forward, as he’s been much more patient this season and has drawn 20 walks in 141 total at-bats after only walking 12 times in 209 at-bats with Lowell last season. Middlebrooks has flashed some of the power that he is projected to develop down the line in the month of June, cracking 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 home runs, good for a .549 slugging percentage…Mike Lee has been off to a good start after packing up from Florida and heading to Greenville. The 6’7’’ right-hander has struck out 20 batters in 19 innings of work, and despite a rough outing in his last appearance, has given up only 6 earned runs in that stretch. Lee’s been using his fastball, which can get up to 95 MPH, to overpower hitters and has been generating some chase swings with his 9-3 curveball…Salem’s Ryne Miller picked up 5 strikeouts in 2 innings during the recently played Carolina League All-Star Game. The hard-throwing reliever has fanned 51 batters in 45 innings this season, including 24 over his last 20 2/3 innings pitched…Sally League All-Stars David Mailman, Anthony Rizzo, and Tim Federowicz all were recently promoted to Salem and are set to begin the second half in the Carolina League after finishing up strong with Greenville.

Trending Down

After a tough run in Greenville, Michael Almanzar has been assigned to the Lowell Spinners. Almanzar has looked off-balanced at the plate for much of the season and needs some work keeping his balance. Still only 18 years of age, he’s been showing his inexperience, along with just how raw his skills still are, both at the plate and in the field. Almanzar’s swing is mostly on the long side and he doesn’t get his hands through the hitting zone quick enough at the moment to consistently square up the advanced pitching he has been seeing and will continue to see with Lowell…Michael Bowden has hit a rough patch in June and has given up 6 earned runs in 2 of his last 5 starts, including a 1 inning clunker against Durham on June 19. Bowden has given up 28 hits over his last 24 innings along with 16 earned runs after only giving up 29 hits and 11 earned runs in his first 48 2/3 innings on the season…After hitting 19 home runs in 484 at-bats last season, Jason Place has only hit 2 home runs in 241 at-bats this season. Place has been more selective and chased fewer off-speed pitches at the plate, but his drop in power has jumped out this year and is of some concern. It remains to be seen how his power will be ultimately affected by his work on his approach.
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at 6:45 AM

Mendez has strong start in Gulf Coast opener


6/25 Cup of Coffee: Action on Wednesday saw Norfolk defeat Pawtucket 4-2. Michael Bowden threw 6 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits and a walk. He had 6 strikeouts. Rocky Cherry tossed 1.2 frames giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. He had 2 strikeouts. Javier Lopez got the last out but not before giving up a run on 2 hits. He fanned 1. The offense produced 6 hits spread out among 6 different players.

Connecticut edged Portland 3-2 in 13 innings. Jarod Plummer pitched 6 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 8. Dustin Richardson threw 2 scoreless innings allowing a hit and a walk. TJ Large pitched 2 innings giving up s run on a hit. He fanned 1. Chad Rhoades threw 2.1 frames giving up a run on 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 2. Jorge Jimenez went 3 for 5 with a run scored. Argenis Diaz went 2 for 6.

Oneonta blanked Lowell 3-0. Yeiper Castillo went 5 innings giving up a run on a hit and 3 walks. He fanned 6. Chad Povich threw an inning allowing a run on a hit and 2 walks. He had a strikeout. Jeremiah Bayer pitched a scoreless inning allowing a hit. He had a strikeout. Dennis Neuman tossed the final 2 frames giving up a run. He did not allow a hit but gave up a walk. He struck out 4. The Spinners managed just 3 hits in the game.

In their Gulf Coast League opener, the Red Sox edged the Reds 6-5. Roman Mendez went 5 innings giving up a run on 2 hits. He fanned 5. Pete Ruiz threw 2 innings giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 3. Charlie Rosario pitched 2 scoreless innings giving up 1 hit. He had 4 strikeouts. Ivan Ochoa went 2 for 3. Seth Schwindenhammer went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. Ken Roque went 2 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI.

Player of the Night: Roman Mendez who allowed 1 run on 2 hits over 5 innings of work. He did not allow a walk and had 5 strikeouts.
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June 24, 2009 at 7:24 AM

Kehrt tosses 5 scoreless innings in Spinner win


6/24 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket edged Norfolk 6-5 in 10 innings. Charlie Zink threw 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. He had a strikeout. Marcus McBeth went 1.1 frames giving up 2 runs on a hit and a walk. He had 2 strikeouts. Jose Vaquedano threw 0.2 of an inning allowing a hit and a walk. Hunter Jones pitched a scoreless inning giving up a hit and a walk. He fanned 1. Fernando Cabrera threw a scoreless inning allowing a hit. He struck out the side. Angel Chavez went 2 for 3 with a RBI. Chris Carter went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI. John Otness went 2 for 3 and scored 2 runs.

Portland scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning to stage a come from behind 8-5 win over Connecticut. Felix Doubront tossed 3.1 innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks. He had 4 strikeouts. Chris Province pitched 2.1 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits. Andrew Dobies went 2.1 innings allowing arun on 3 hits. He fanned 1. Bryce Cox pitched a scoreless 9th giving up 1 hit. He had a strikeout. Josh Reddick went 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Jon Still's only hit in 5 at bats was a 3 runs homer in the 9th that provided the margin of victory. Mark Wagner went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI. Lars Anderson went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI. Argenis Diaz went 2 for 5 and scored 2 runs.

Lowell edged Oneonta 2-1. Jeremy Kehrt threw 5 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits. He did not allow a walk and had 6 strikeouts. Michael Bugary pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings giving up 2 base on balls. He fanned 3. Anatanaer Batista went the final 2 innings allowing a run on 3 hits and 2 walks. He had a strikeout. Yamaico Navarro went 3 for 4.

Player of the Night: Jeremy Kehrt who threw 5 scoreless innings in Spinner win
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June 23, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Pitcher of the Week, June 15-21: Casey Kelly


Salem righty Casey Kelly continued to impress last week, pitching 12 innings of 5 hit ball, allowing a single earned run while striking out 10 and walking only two over two starts en route to winning SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week honors for June 15-21. Against Kinston (Indians) June 15, Kelly allowed his only run on 4 hits, and struck out 5, earning the win, and pitched 6 shutout innings of 1 hit ball June 21 at Potomac (Nationals), striking out 5, but didn't factor in the decision. With Salem, Kelly is 1-2 with a 2.51 ERA in 28.2 innings over five starts, striking out 24 while walking only 3 and holding opposing batters to a .192 average. Kelly, who previously won SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week of June 1-7, is currently the fourth ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
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at 11:58 PM

Player of the Week, June 15-21: Tim Federowicz


Greenville catcher Tim Federowicz dominated last week at the plate and in the polls, batting .529/.600/.882 in 17 at-bats (9 hits) over five games with 1 home run and 3 doubles, scoring 6 runs while batting in four and taking SoxProspects.com Player of the Week honors for June 15-21 with 88.7 percent of votes cast. He was also named South Atlantic League Player of the Week. In fifty-five games with Greenville, Federowicz is hitting .345/.393/.562 with 10 home runs, 19 doubles and 34 RBI, earning a promotion to Advanced-A Salem. He is currently the thirteenth ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
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at 9:13 AM

Q&A with Shannon Wilkerson


Outfielder Shannon Wilkerson was named the Division II Player of the Year by the NCBWA and ABCA this spring after his junior season at Augusta State. The speedy Wilkerson led the Peach Belt Conference with a .441 batting average, .891 slugging percentage, 82 runs scored, 101 hits, 24 home runs, and 7 triples this year, and he was also named to the Rawlings/ABCA National Gold Glove team after going errorless in 146 chances. SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield was able to chat with Wilkerson, the Red Sox’s eighth-round pick in this month’s First-Year Player Draft, at Lowell Spinners Media Day last week.

Chris Hatfield: At Augusta State, you were the Division II Player of the Year. When you decided to attend a Division II school, was playing at the professional level on your radar?


Shannon Wilkerson: Oh yeah. From day one my coaches would tell me, “you’ve got a real good chance to make it to the next level. Don’t look at it like because you’re a D-II guy, you can’t make it.” My coach told me at the end of this year I had a chance to be one of the highest-drafted guys out of that college, and I was – the top guy was a twelfth-rounder, and by going in the eighth I set the new standard.


CH: Was going that high [in the draft] a goal for you?

SW: Yeah, our range was around four[th] to eight[th round], and I got a call from the Red Sox about ten picks away from their eighth-round selection. It was exciting.

CH: Being from Georgia originally, how familiar are you with the Red Sox organization?

SW: It’s very, very new to me. We flew in last night (June 16), and the first thing I noticed is the fans. Being at Fenway and being at Turner Field are completely different. I mean, it was a packed house last night, and the fans, they’ve got your back 100 percent.

CH: So you grew up a Braves fan then?

SW: Oh yeah, I was a big Braves fan, and actually, that’s where I thought I’d be going. But since the Red Sox picked me up, all I’ve heard was that the fan base was just so behind the team in the Boston area.

CH: The Lowell team is always kind of a mish-mash of college players, high-school guys who’ve been in Extended Spring Training, some players from Latin America and even from Asia this year. Although it’s very early on, how has the assimilation process been?

SW: Well, like I said, I’ve only been here probably 12 hours, so I’ve met about five guys. But what’s unique about it is the many different cultures. Like I said, I really haven’t made my rounds going to meet people, so I only know a handful of guys right now, but it’ll be interesting adjusting to playing with that many different types of players.

CH: We ask this in all of our interviews – give us a self-scouting report on Shannon Wilkerson.

SW: I’d say give me the inside fastball at the plate. (Laughs). As far as my speed, that’d be my biggest aspect of the game. I play the game 100-percent everywhere I go – I try to turn singles into doubles. In the outfield, like I said, my biggest strength is with my speed.


CH: So you see yourself as a table-setter?

SW: Oh yeah, definitely. I’ll steal some bags.

CH: Getting back to the draft, you mentioned the Braves and you were picked by the Red Sox, were there any other teams you were talking to?

SW: Well I filled out forms for about every club, but the White Sox, Reds, Phillies, and Braves, those four were all on top of me pretty hard. And then towards the end of the season I got a few calls from the Red Sox. And then I got to know my area scout from the Red Sox very well – he actually lives 20 minutes from my hometown. We got talking more and more and he wanted to know what my projections were as far as going in the draft, and I let him know. The eighth round came around and he gave me a phone call.

CH: You were named the D-II Player of the Year by two different organizations, what was it like being named the best in the country at that level?


SW: I mean, it really didn’t soak in I guess. I still hadn’t been drafted at the time, but now I’ve gotten my dream. That was in its own category until I got drafted, but it really doesn’t mean that much to me anymore. Being a professional athlete is something I’ve always dreamed of. It’s always good to look back on, being the player of the year in Division II nationally, but this right here is the biggest thing.

CH: For this season, what goals do you have?

SW: My goal right now is to make the all-star team. I’d like to do that. I’ve had a bit of a setback – I probably won’t play the first week or two, because we’re waiting on some physical tests I took yesterday to come back. But I just want to get out there and play every day, get better as a ballplayer, and just adjust to the professional atmosphere. You’ve got to learn to accept failure – three-for-ten is hall-of-fame numbers.
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at 7:04 AM

Hottovy throws 2 perfect innings in Lowell loss


6/23 Cup of Coffee: Action on Monday was limited to just two teams with Durham downing Pawtucket 3-1. Clay Buchholz started and went 3.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks. He struck out 4. Randor Bierd threw 2 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks. Javier Lopez pitched 1.1 scoreless frames giving up 1 hit. He fanned 1. Billy Traber tossed a clean inning. Jeff Bailey went 2 for 4.

In the only other contest, Oneonta defeated Lowell 4-1 scoring 3 runs in the top of the 12th inning. Ryan Pressly pitched 5 innings allowing 1 run on 7 hits. He did not allow a walk and had 5 strikeouts. Tommy Hottovy threw 2 perfect innings of relief fanning 3. Jeremiah Bayer tossed a clean inning recording a strikeout. William Latimer pitched 2 scoreless innings allowing a hit and a walk. He fanned 3. Wang-Yi Lin threw 2 innings allowing 3 runs on 4 hits. He struck out 2. Wilfred Pichardo went 2 for 4. Chia-Chu Chen went 2 for 5 with a RBI.

Player of the Night: Tommy Hottovy who continued his rehab in Lowell throwing 2 perfect innings of relief
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June 22, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Rizzo, Federowicz, and Mailman promoted to Salem


As confirmed by the Red Sox front office, Greenville hitters Anthony Rizzo, Tim Federowicz, and David Mailman will all be promoted to Advanced-A Salem after the South Atlantic League and Carolina League All Star breaks this week. Play resumes for both leagues on Thursday, June 25. Each of Rizzo, Federowicz, and Mailman will participate in the South Atlantic League All Star game on Tuesday in Charleston, West Virginia, then will make their way over to Kinston, North Carolina to join the Salem Sox on a road trip to kick off the second half of the Carolina League schedule against the Kinston Indians. To counter these promotions, Salem's Jon Hee, Ty Weeden, and Jered Stanley will be sent down to Greenville.
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at 6:40 AM

Salem pitchers toss a 1 hitter but lose game one


6/22 Cup of Coffee: Action on Sunday saw Pawtucket down Durham 5-3. Kris Johnson threw 5.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 3. Jose Vaquedano went 1.2 scoreless frames allowing a hit and a walk. He fanned 1. Billy Traber pitched a scoreless inning allowing 2 hits and a walk. Fernando Cabrera tossed a scoreless inning allowing a hit. He had a strikeout. Angel Chavez went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI. Freddy Guzman went 3 for 5 and scored a run.

Akron blanked Portland 4-0. Adam Mills threw 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 9 hits. He fanned 4. Chad Rhoades threw a scoreless inning allowing a hit. He struck out 2. Dustin Richardson pitched an inning giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks. TJ Large tossed 2 scoreless innings giving up 2 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. The Sea Dogs managed just 2 hits in the game.

Salem split a doubleheader with Potomac. They lost the first contest 1-0 despite allowing the Nationals just 1 hit. Casey Kelly pitched 6 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit and 2 walks. He struck out 5. Ryne Miller pitched a clean inning recording a strikeout. Derrick Loop threw a clean inning fanning all 3 hitters he faced. Robert Coello retired 2 hitters but walked 4 batters to allow the winning run to score. He had a strikeout. The Drive took the second contest 3-1. Kyle Weiland threw 5 scoreless innings giving up 3 hits and 6 base on balls. He had 4 strikeouts. The Salem offense had 5 hits spread out amongst 5 different players.

Lexington defeated Greenville 4-2. Stephen Fife threw 5 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits. He had 7 strikeouts. Michael Lee pitched 3.1 frames giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 6. Leandro Marin tossed 0.2 of an inning allowing a walk. He fanned 2. David Marks went 2 for 3 with a home run and 2 RBI.

Vermont downed Lowell 5-2. Cesar Cabral threw 4 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. Pedro Perez tossed 4 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits. He struck out 1. Dennis Neuman pitched an inning giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk. He fanned 1. Wilfred Pichardo went 2 for 4 and scored a run.

Player of the Night: Casey Kelly who tossed 6 scoreless, 1 hit innings in a no decision result
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June 21, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Matsuzaka to DL, Dusty Brown called up


Prior to today's game against the Atlanta Braves, Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the disabled list with weakness in his right shoulder, and catcher Dusty Brown was called up from Pawtucket in a corresponding move. Before the game Terry Francona said that no structural damage was revealed in yesterday's MRI, but that Matsuzaka's road to return would likely be a long one. The longest Brown is expected to remain with the big league club is Thursday when John Smoltz is slated to be activated and start at Washington. Through 47 games with Pawtucket, Brown was is hitting .239/.347/.331 with 2 home runs, 9 doubles and 12 RBI in 163 at-bats.
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at 1:59 PM

Sox linked to Vinicio, Payano


According to Jorge Arangure, Senior Writer for ESPN the Magazine, the Red Sox will sign Dominican shortstop Jose Gregorio Vinicio to a $2-million bonus and Dominican lefthander Victor Payano to a $900,000 bonus in early July. The international signing period begins on July 2, and word is that Payano will sign on July 2, while Vinicio will sign on July 10 when he turns sixteen and becomes eligible to sign a professional contract. Vinicio is a much-heralded international prospect with highly regarded athleticism and power potential. He's drawn comparisons to Edgar Renteria. Payano is a tall, lanky lefty with a projectable frame and a clean delivery. He presently throws his fastball at 85-88 mph with nice downward movement, and also mixes in a slider and a changeup. All three have the potential to be above average major league pitches when Payano fills out his frame.
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at 6:40 AM

Rizzo scores 3 runs and drives in 3 in Drive win


6/21 Cup of Coffee: On Saturday, Pawtucket edged Durham 4-3. Enrique Gonzalez went 5.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 8. Javier Lopez threw a scoreless inning allowing a hit and a walk. He had a strikeout. Hunter Jones pitched 2.2 scoreless, hitless innings allowing a walk. He had 3 strikeouts. Travis Denker went 2 for 2 with a RBI.

Akron swept both games of a doubleheader over Portland. The Areros took the first game 1-0 scoring the winning run in the top of the 9th. Junichi Tazawa went 5.1 scoreless frames allowing 2 hits and 4 walks. He had 5 strikeouts. Andrew Dobies pitched 1.2 scoreless, hitless innings. He fanned 2. Bryce Cox threw 2 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. He had 2 strikeouts. The Sea Dogs had 7 hits spread out among 7 different players. Akron trounced the Sea Dogs 8-1 in the second contest. Ryne Lawson went 4.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. He had 2 strikeouts. Chris Province went 1.2 frames and did not allow a run. He gave up a hit and had a strikeout. Richie Lentz threw 0.2 of an inning giving up 5 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. Chad Rhoades struck out the only hitter he faced. Jorge Jimenez went 1 for 3 with a home run.

The scheduled doubleheader between Salem and Potomac was cancelled due to rain.

Greenville hammered Lexington 15-3, and in doing so clinched the South Atlantic League championship for the first half of the season. Hunter Strickland went 5 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. He fanned 5. Fabian Williamson threw 4 scoreless innings giving up 3 hits and a walk. He had 5 strikeouts. David Mailman went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. Anthony Rizzo went 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI. Ryan Lavarnway went 2 for 5 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Mitch Dening went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored and a RBI. Will Middlebrooks went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI. Ryan Dent went 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Tim Federowicz had a home run in 3 at bats.

Lowell edged Vermont 4-3. Jose Alvarez pitched 6 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits. He struck out 7. Anatanaer Batista threw 2 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. He fanned 2. William Latimer pitched a clean 9th inning. The Spinners had 7 hits spread out among 7 different players.

Player of the Night: Anthony Rizzo who had 3 hits which produced 3 runs scored and 3 RBI
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June 20, 2009 at 6:43 AM

Lin reached base 6 times in Salem win


6/20 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket scored 5 runs in the top of the 8th inning to stage a come from behind 8-6 win over Durham. Michael Bowden got the start and lasted only 1 inning giving up 6 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He fanned 1. Marcus McBeth tossed 3 scoreless, hitless innings allowing 1 walk. He had 5 strikeouts. Rocky Cherry threw 2 scoreless frames allowing 3 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. Randor Bierd pitched 2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit. He fanned 4. Fernando Cabrera pitched a scoreless inning giving up 2 hits and a walk. Aaron Bates went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs. Paul McAnulty went 3 for 5 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Angel Chavez went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs.

The Portland-Akron game was postponed.

Salem trounced Potomac 12-4. Bryan Price went 3.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 6. Kyle Fernandes pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. He allowed 2 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. Jason Rice threw 2 perfect innings of relief recording 3 strikeouts. Josh Papelbon pitched a scoreless, hitless inning allowing a walk. He struck out the side. Che-Hsuan Lin went 3 for 3 with 2 homers, 4 runs scored and 4 RBI. He also walked 3 times. Mike Jones went 3 for 6 with 3 RBI.

Greenville defeated Lexington 5-1. Brock Huntzinger threw 5.2 innings giving up 1 run on 8 hits and a walk. He fanned 2. Armando Zerpa threw 2.1 scoreless frames giving up a hit and a walk. He had 4 strikeouts. Lance McClain pitched a scoreless 9th allowing a hit. He fanned 1. Tim Federowicz raised his batting average to .345 going 3 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI. Anthony Rizzo went 2 for 4 with a RBI.

Lowell kicked off their schedule with a 10-6 win over Vermont. Yeiper Castillo threw 4 innings allowing 6 runs on 5 hits and a walk. He had a strikeout. Jeremy Kehrt pitched 2 clean innings striking out 3. Tommy Hottovy tossed 2 scoreless, hitless frames giving up 2 walks. He struck out 5. Dennis Neuman pitched a scoreless 9th inning giving up a hit. He fanned 2. Derrick Gibson went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI. Roberto Feliz went 2 for 5 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Ronald Bermudez went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI.

Player of the Night: Che-Hsuan Lin who reached base 6 times going 3 for 3 with 3 walks. He had 2 homers, scored 4 times and drove in 4 runs.
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June 19, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Hazelbaker agrees to terms


According to sources, 2009 fourth round draft pick Jeremy Hazelbaker has agreed to terms with the Red Sox and is on his way to Boston to finalize the deal. Hazelbaker, 21, is likely to be assigned to Lowell to play centerfield for the Spinners. He played for Ball State this spring, putting up a .429/.550/,724 line with 9 home runs and 29 stolen bases. Hazelbaker was ranked as the 107th best prospect in the 2009 draft by Baseball America and 144th by PG Crosschecker.
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at 6:15 AM

PawSox victims of rain-shortened perfect game


6/19 Cup of Coffee: Weather played havoc with games on Thursday, with half of the games being rained out and another was shortened.

Pawtucket saw their game shortened to 5 1/2 innings after Charlotte pitcher Carlos Torres retired all 15 hitters he faced in a 5-0 win for the Knights. Charlie Zink went the distance and took the loss. He allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks. He had a strikeout.

Erie defeated Portland 5-1. Kason Gabbard threw 3 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks. He had 5 strikeouts. Blake Maxwell pitched 3 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits amd a walk. Dustin Richardson threw a scoreless inning allowing 3 walks. He struck out 2. TJ Large pitched 2 scoreless, hitless innings. He had a strikeout. Ryan Kalish went 2 for 3 with a run scored.

The Salem-Potomac game as well as the Greenville-Asheville match-up were both rained out.

Player of the Night: Ryan Kalish, who went 2 for 3 with a run scored.
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June 18, 2009 at 6:19 AM

Smoltz makes last rehab start in PawSox win


6/18 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket downed Charlotte 9-3 on Wednesday. John Smoltz made his last start in the minors going 4 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a walk. He fanned 2. Clay Buchholz took over and threw 4 innings giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks. He had 6 strikeouts. Billy Traber threw a clean 9th inning recording 1 strikeout. Jeff Bailey went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs. Bubba Bell went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Aaron Bates went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. Paul McAnulty went 3 for 5 with a RBI. Dusty Brown went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. Travis Denker went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Angel Chavez went 3 for 4 and scored 2 runs.

Erie defeated Portland 11-5. Jarod Plummer threw 4 innings allowing 4 runs only 1 of which was earned. He allowed a walk and recorded 4 strikeouts. Andrew Dobies pitched 1.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 4. Richie Lentz did not retire a hitter but gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks. Chad Rhoades tossed 2.1 clean frames with 3 strikeouts. TJ Large threw 1 scoreless, hitless inning giving up a walk. He fanned 2. Josh Reddick went 3 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. Ryan Kalish went 3 for 4 and is now hitting .215. Reid Engel went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs.

Salem outscored Kinston 12-10. Eammon Portice tossed 4.1 innings allowing 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. He had 5 strikeouts. Robert Coello went 1.2 frames giving up 1 run on 1 hit and 2 walks. He had a strikeout. Jose Capellan pitched 2 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. Derrick Loop threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Zach Borowiak went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI. Daniel Nava went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs. Mike Jones went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Jered Stanley went 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored and a RBI.

Greenville defeated Asheville 5-1 in a rain shortened 6 inning game. Stolmy Pimentel pitched 6 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 6. David Mailman went 2 for 3 with a home run and 3 RBI.

Player of the Night: Stolmy Pimentel who allowed 1 run over 6 innings of work in the Drive's win. He had 6 strikeouts.
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June 17, 2009 at 11:58 PM

Player of the Week, June 8-14: Aaron Bates


In his first week with Pawtucket Aaron Bates picked right up where he left off in Portland, posting a .400/.520/.750 line with two home runs and two doubles, scoring 7 runs and batting in 4, while drawing 5 walks (vs. four strikeouts) over 25 plate appearances, earning himself SoxProspects.com Player of the Week honors for June 8-14. Prior to his promotion June 8, Bates hit .340/.405/.505 in 208 at-bats (70 hits) over 52 games as a Sea Dog, with 7 home runs, 13 doubles and 39 runs batted in. He is currently the twenty-second ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
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at 11:50 PM

Pitcher of the Week, June 8-14: Kyle Weiland


In two starts last week Salem righty Kyle Weiland turned in a pair of quality starts, allowing 2 runs (one earned) on 7 hits, striking out 5 all while getting hung with a loss and a no-decision, but was rewarded by the community for his efforts by being named SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week of June 8-14. Although he pitched six scoreless innings at Wilmington (Royals) June 8 allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out three, Weliand took the loss, but bounced back to pitch six more innings of five hit ball and allowing his only earned run if the week to Myrtle Beach (Braves), striking out 2 while walking one and not factoring in the decision. On the season Weiland owns a 1-6 record with a 5.10 ERA in 60 innings over 13 starts, allowing 34 earned runs on 62 hits, striking out 46 and walking 25. However in the month of June he is 0-1 but with a 0.53 ERA, allowing 1 earned run on 9 hits over 17 innings. He is currently the twenty-seventh ranked prospect in the organization by SoxProspects.com.
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at 2:55 PM

The Ladder- 6.17.09


Hunter Strickland

The Line: Pitching for Class-A Greenville, Strickland has been on a roll as of late, and overall he has put up a solid campaign in his first year of full-season baseball. Covering his last 25 2/3 innings, he’s given up 2 earned runs while striking out 18 batters and only issuing 2 free passes. Strickland has also been going deeper into games as the season has progressed, pitching into the sixth inning in 5 of his last 6 starts, and the one exception was in a piggy-back role to close out the final 4 innings of that game. On June 4, Strickland fired 5 2/3 innings against Asheville giving up 1 earned run and picking up 5 strikeouts. He followed that up with back-to-back strong outings against Bowling Green, giving up 1 earned run over 11 innings pitched. Strickland has given up about a hit per inning on the season, but has only walked 6 batters in 58 1/3 innings, placing him in the top 10 in the South Atlantic League in WHIP.

The View: Strickland put in a lot of work last season in Lowell to improve his control and command with his fastball, and this season the improvement has continued. Working in the low 90’s with his fastball, he’s been pounding the zone to throw strikes and his velocity has been creeping up a bit. Although he has given up a lot of contact, Strickland limits the damage against him by making batters earn their way on base and by keeping the ball in the park. Mixing in his slider and change-up, Strickland has done a good job of throwing strikes this season and keeping hitters off balance. He could stand to get some more swings and misses with his repertoire by sharpening his slider and improving the deception of his change-up, but the work he has done on his command has been a good step forward. Interestingly, Strickland has struggled to put away left-handed batters via the strikeout, having recorded only 5 on the season. This points toward the need to improve his secondary pitches, as they lack the necessary inward bite to get lefties to chase them out of the zone. With a smooth and balanced delivery, Strickland has the foundation to pick up some velocity on his fastball and consistently repeat his mechanics as he gains the feel of his secondary pitches. Strickland may lack a little bit of the flash of some of his peers, but his developmental strides have continued after a solid first season of professional baseball in 2008.

Kyle Weiland

The Line: Weiland got off to a tough start with the Salem Red Sox and got knocked around in the month of April, giving up 16 earned runs in 12 innings on 22 hits. Known for his command, he struggled to find his feel and walked 9 batters in that stretch. Since April, however, it has been a different story for Weiland, as he has given up 18 earned runs in 48 innings while surrendering only 40 hits. His last 17 innings have been especially strong, limiting batters to 9 hits and only 1 earned run against. Weiland dealt 6 strong innings on June 8 against Wilmington and followed that up in his next start with another 6 solid innings against Myrtle Beach on June 14, giving up 1 earned run and limiting batters to 5 hits. Despite his struggles in the early going this season, he’s limited right-handed batters to a .195 batting average against and has compiled a 58% groundball rate against them on the season.

The View: Weiland’s command was erratic in April and he lived up in the zone far too often, giving up a lot of hits on balls up and out over the plate. He worked behind in the count too frequently and when he came into the zone with his fastball, batters were sitting all over it. Despite his fastball operating 92-94 MPH, it is a far better offering when he starts it lower in the zone as it darts across the knees with a nice downward slant created as Weiland gets his hand on top it. As the season has moved on, he’s generated more groundballs by continuing to sink his fastball and staying out of the top of the strike zone. Weiland has the ability to throw his fastball by batters, but his secondary pitches are not consistent enough to enable him to rely on them when he is behind in the count and needs to throw a strike. He can be nasty and uncomfortable on righties, as he comes from a ¾ angle and his 2-seam fastball can run on their hands, but lefties have had a lot of success against him this season. This highlights the need to sharpen the consistency of his curveball, as lefties get a good look at the ball coming out of his delivery and he needs something to keep them off-balance. The development of his change-up will answer the question as to where he projects down the line, but Weiland has shown the stamina to keep his stuff deeper into his outings and made a smooth transition from the bullpen into the starting rotation to start his professional career.

Trending Up

Casey Kelly continues his strong first professional season on the mound. Since being promoted to the Salem Red Sox, he’s struck out 19 and walked only 1 batter in 22 2/3 innings. Kelly fired 6 innings against Kinston on June 15, limiting the lineup to 4 hits and picking up 5 strikeouts while not issuing a walk. Scouts who have followed Kelly this season have continued to be impressed with how he handles himself on the mound. One scout who recently observed him came away very impressed with his feel for his repertoire and his upside on the mound. Kelly has mainly been operating 88-91 with his fastball, showing some sink and tail to it, but the pitch can sometimes be a little straight. His curveball has shown excellent bite while he can mix up the way it breaks. Kelly has a nice feel for his change-up too, with this pitch showing some fade that moves inward on right-handed batters…Lars Anderson has found June more to his liking after a tough May and is looking more locked in at the plate. He’s 16 for his last 35 with only 6 strikeouts in that stretch after struggling with making contact in May. Anderson has been staying back on breaking balls much better recently and looks to be taking off as the season ramps into the summer months…Fabian Williamson has 39 strikeouts in his last 31 2/3 innings and only given up 7 earned runs in that streak. Walks have been a bit of a concern for Williamson, but he has limited contact with only 16 hits against in that stretch, and he has generally kept the ball down. His sharp-breaking curveball is an advanced offering for him and creates a lot of swings and misses to go along with a high 80’s fastball that is deceptively quick on hitters…Bubba Bell was recently promoted to Pawtucket, following Aaron Bates, who was also recently promoted from Portland.

Trending Down

After not finding much work at Salem and getting hit around a bit, Jose Alvarez has been sent down to Lowell where he will open on the Spinners’ roster when the short-season NYPL gets underway on June 19. Alvarez has only pitched 24 2/3 innings on the season and hasn’t appeared in a game since June 2…Yeiper Castillo also finds himself back with the Spinners after struggling with Greenville where he gave up 24 earned runs 30 2/3 innings on the season. Castillo has been struggling with his control and been forced to throw his fastball in the middle of the plate as he has worked behind in a lot of counts…Ryne Lawson has had a tough run of things recently with Portland and has given up 6 or more earned runs in 3 of his last 4 starts, making it into the sixth inning only once. Lawson’s stuff has looked like it plays better in a bullpen role in the higher levels…Argenis Diaz is 7 for his last 34 and hasn’t been able to put it together consistently at the plate for any extended stretch. Diaz has good enough batspeed and reactions to hit good fastballs, but he has struggled with making contact on off-speed pitches and with laying off ones out of the strikezone…Bryan Price has had a tough adjustment to advanced A-Ball and given up 17 earned runs in his first 15 1/3 innings with Salem. Price has walked 8 batters in that stretch after walking only 12 in 44 innings with Greenville. He’s been grabbing too much of the plate with his fastball and has not been locating it since his promotion.
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at 5:36 AM

Mills tosses six innings of one hit ball


6/17 Cup of Coffee: Today, I am writing the Cup f Coffee from the most scenic place this blog has ever been written. I am overlooking sunrise on the Bras D'Or Lakes in Cape Breton. Wow!

Pawtucket split a doubleheader with Charlotte on Tuesday. They lost the first game 1-0 in extra innings. Kris Johnson started and went 4.1 innings. He did not allow a run on 2 hits and 3 walks. He fanned 5. Randor Bierd went 2.2 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits. Hunter Jones pitched 1 inning and gave up the winning run on 2 hits. The offense produced only 3 hits in the game. The PawSox rebounded and took the second contest 3-2. Rocky Cherry tossed 2 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 1. Jose Vaquedano threw 3 scoreless, hitless innings. He fanned 2. Fernando Cabrera pitched 2 scoreless frames allowing 2 hits. He struck out 1.

Portland blanked Erie 5-0. Adam Mills pitched 6 scoreless, 1 hit innings. He did not allow a walk while fanning 8. Chris Province tossed 2 scoreless innings allowing a hit and a walk. He struck out 1. Bryce Cox threw a scoreless inning allowing 1 hit. Mark Wagner went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a RBI. Jorge Jimenez went 2 for 4 with a home run 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Lars Anderson went 3 for 4. Ryan Khoury went 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and a RBI.

Salem edged Kinston 4-3. Seth Garrison threw 6 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits. He had 4 strikeouts. Ryne Miller pitched 2 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. He fanned 1. Derrick Loop tossed a scoreless, hitless inning allowing 1 walk. He had a strikeout. Zach Borowiak went 2 for 3 and scored a run. Daniel Nava went 2 for 3 with a RBI. Luis Exposito went 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI.

Greenville was blanked by Asheville 4-0 in a rain-shortened game. The Drive only managed five runners over five innings, and Nick Hagadone struggled in his third start for Greenville this season, allowing 4 earned runs on 4 hits in 2.2 innings. He struck out three and didn't allow a walk. Caleb Clay pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.

Player of the Night: Adam Mills who tossed 6 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit. He did not allow a walk and had 8 strikeouts.
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June 16, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Sox agree to terms with second round pick Alex Wilson, fifteen others


The Red Sox have come to terms with fourteen 2009 draft picks and two undrafted free agents, including second-round pick Alex Wilson. The 22-year-old righthander went 5-5 with a 4.22 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 89.2 innings as both a starter and a reliever this season for Texas A&M after missing the entire 2008 season due to Tommy John Surgery. Wilson, a native of Hurricane, West Virginia, possesses an advanced four-pitch repertoire headlined by his fastball that sits around 93-94 mph with very good life. He also throws a plus mid-80s slider that misses a lot of bats. Rated the 52nd-best prospect entering the 2009 draft by Baseball America, Wilson will likely begin his Red Sox career for short-season Lowell when the Spinners' season starts on June 19.

Here is a rundown of other 2009 Red Sox draft picks and undrafted free agents who have agreed to terms with Boston according to various sources. Please note that several of these players' contracts won't become "official" until they have passed a physical, a drug test, and signed on the dotted line.


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